UPDATE: Search for Gator Victim Ends, Investigation Continues

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Searchers finally located the body of the missing 2-year-old boy a short time ago at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

grand-floridian-resort-and-spa-00-full

It appears the boy was drowned since the body was found intact. Experts will compare the bite marks on the victim to the 5 alligators that were captured over the course of the last day to ensure the animal was indeed removed from the area.

Divers found the boy about 15 yards from the shoreline.

Reportedly, Matt Graves wrestled with the alligator , trying to pry to child from the alligator’s jaw, but came away only with a few scratches on his hands.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

12 Comments

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  • Oh my glob thank goodness! I feel so bad for the family going through all this, I’ve had stressful trips to Disney but this… must have been crazy

  • It’s fun and games at Disney until someone gets hurt. It’s an empire built on perception of ‘Happiest Place On Earth”. and much more attention to public relations than safety or quality or experience of any one guest. The parks are so obviously now about efficiency of cramming as many people in the parks and penny pinching.

    I feel so badly for this family. Shame on all the corner cutting Disney has done lately. 6 gators today found and people are all along coast, in boats, parasailing? No way they’re doing their job. They’ve added long lines to run SOME people thru metal detectors, but like their bag check, it’s all for show. Sad.

    • Are you for real? Do you know how difficult it is to keep alligators out of any body of water in Florida? They’re EVERYWHERE. And Disney does their best to work with the FWC to keep them off property. And it’s the FWC’s job to deal with alligators in Florida, but you know everything about Florida wildlife, right? And it’s literally impossible to keep them all out because there are simply too many of them and they can easily get into places like this.

      You know what the problem is? People ignoring signs to not swim in that water. Going in that water at night. What happened is tragic, but it also doesn’t absolve people from the blatant stupidity of allowing a two-year-old kid wade in that lagoon water where signs warn against, and even worse, at night, when you can’t see them coming. That’s not on Disney, who responded quickly and with every resource at their disposal.

      And the “Happiest Place On Earth” is in California. :-)

      • Yes, George I’m for real. First responders to the scene were Disney managers who quickly sequestered cell phones and moved crowds to keep this from bring a PR nightmare.

        You might not be astute enough to notice all the tremendous cutbacks very obvious to repeat and frequent guests such as us. It’s very well documented they have made huge cut backs in staff, cut corners in staffing, food safety, and general security. Cut backs in wildlife management are documented. Cut backs in staffing and resources for individual guest experience also admitted to. They added metal detectors as a visual PR measure to put some ‘random and volunteer guests’ through them.

        The problem is not only the guests ignoring sings. Disney has spent more on a public impression that it’s very safe, than they do on actually following through with this.

        Truthfully, the place isn’t really very safe at all for infants and toddlers who aren’t going to remember the visit, and parents often do check their brain at the parking lot thinking Disney has gone out of their way to make it safe and fun. Nothing further from the truth. Happy, and profit making, and a public relations first corporation, yes. They’re all about efficiency and pushing as many through and making money off of them with giving the least back. They’re a corporation, that’s fine. But please don’t act like Disney has not honestly become increasingly neglectful. This act is only one of many. Most, you don’t hear about.

      • No, FWC is not responsible. Disney is under their own run Reedy Creek Development District, and used to have teams to address hazards. They fired most all them, as a cost savings measure, and felt it was bad for public relations. They want families to falsely believe it’s all safe and wonderful. Thus, accidents more likely to happen. They hide most all of their incidents well. This one, they couldn’t.

        You are correct. Disney responded with every resource they have. NONE. They called in police for a body recovery.

    • Yes, if only they had put in more metal detectors, they would have caught the alligator before it attacked… Oh wait, their security into the parks has nothing to do with this.

      This was a horrible, and very rare, attack. There are wild animals in the world, and alligators in Florida. Disney couldn’t keep every single alligator out no matter how much money they spent. Sometimes you can prevent (or reduce the risk) of tragic accidents, but sometimes it is just an accident and you have to resist the urge to use it to try to point blame at someone.

    • There have been zero incidents until now and there have always been alligators in that lagoon. FWC has always worked with Disney to remove and euthanize them (this is FWC’s policy, not Disney’s).

      I don’t know about you, but I would never allow a kid in the water after dark. Large bodies of water always have drop offs and that kid could easily have stepped in one, gone under and drown before anyone could find him. There’s just so many risks and that water is gross, have you ever actually been there? I’d never go in it. There’s signs telling you not to go in it, but people always like to bend the rules and now look what’s happened.

      You blame Disney, but what if the kid drown by falling into a drop off? Would that be Disney’s fault too? At some point people need to realize this was a tragic situation and the parents made a horrific mistake.

  • On my last trip to Disney we saw two alligators inside the Magic Kingdom. One in the rivers of america near the liberty belle station, and one was actually resting in Cinderella Castle moat. During the day with all the activity going on around them they would rather hide and have nothing to do with people at all, but at night when they do all there hunting is a different story all togther. This is a horrible event no matter which way you look at it, but let’s not put anyone to blame but mother nature it’s self.

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